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ISSUES WITH JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL
Did Mom Plan Teens` Massacre?; Prison Guard Strangled, Rapist Suspected
Aired February 2, 2011 - 19:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, head spinning new details surface in the gruesome murder two of teens. Cops say their mom confessed to killing them because they were mouthing off. Now, just released details paint a terrifying picture of the murder scene. And cops say jaw-dropping evidence shows how the mother meticulously planned this unthinkable massacre. We`ll tell you about the medication they found and why that could be the key to this horror story.
And a three-strikes inmate accused of strangling a female guard in the prison chapel. You won`t believe what makeshift tool police say he used to commit the gruesome murder. Were officers begging for more protection? And were their pleas ignored?
Then we`ve got the stunning 911 call after Charlie Sheen`s three-day bender that sent him to the hospital. Has it gotten so bad that the 45- year-old actor`s parents might step in to take control of his affairs? I`ll talk to Charlie`s friend and doctor who made the initial 911 call and drove Charlie home from the hospital.
Plus, Halle Berry`s custody battle gets ugly. The Oscar-winning actress has backed out of her upcoming film to fight for custody of her 2 1/2-year-old daughter with model Gabriel Aubry. Now a vicious war of words has exploded, with allegations of verbal abuse. We`ll take your calls.
ISSUES starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Due to the nature of your charges, and the strength of the case against you at this point, Miss, you are obviously going to be held in jail without bond.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, shocking new details about the massacre of two beloved Tampa, Florida, teens, allegedly gunned down by their own mother for, of all things, being mouthy. Isn`t that what teens always are? Mouthy?
This search warrant -- I`m holding it right here in my hands -- reveals the horrific scene cops found at 50-year-old Julie Schenecker`s home Friday morning. First of all, she was unconscious, passed out somewhere. They had to wake her up. She was by the pool.
Then she allegedly gets combative. Cops say she had dried blood on her white robe. The warrant says they found 16-year-old Calyx in her own bed, covered with a blanket and a large amount of blood pooling around her head.
Cops her younger brother, 13-year-old Beau, inside a van, covered by a blanket. He had been shot in the head.
Cops said they also seized a slew of other evidence, including -- get this -- handwritten notes where this woman -- yes, the shaking woman right there -- spells out exactly how she planned to kill her kids, and then another note written after the killings, explaining how she did it. Cops say the writings were, quote, "devoid of emotion." That`s the words of police.
They also found some kind of medication. Aha! Could that medication be the key to this unimaginable horror? Why was that woman shaking?
Meantime, cops say she`d initially planned what she called the massacre for the last Saturday, but she postponed it until Thursday because of the three-day waiting period she had to sit through before she could buy the murder weapon. What that means is she had three days to think about it. And cops say she went through with it anyway. That`s premeditation.
We`re also learning more about the role of the children`s father. When it came to the apparently troubled and documented relationship between Julie and her teenage daughter, early this month, Army Colonel Parker Schenecker told cops he often mediated their verbal arguments all the way from across the world, because he was serving in the military.
So much to discuss. Your theory, why did she do it, if, in fact, she did it? Cops say she confessed. Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.
Straight out to Steve Summers from News Talk 820 WWBA in Tampa.
Steve, what is the very latest?
STEVE SUMMERS, REPORTER, WWBA: Well, we know that this is sort of away from the notion that of what`s going on here with the actual murder itself. Schenecker`s husband, this Army Colonel Parker Schenecker, has issued this warning tonight about these Web sites that are, incredibly, trying to take advantage of this tragic situation by saying that they`re raising money for the Schenecker children. Colonel Parker Schenecker has said that there`s no one raising money for his children at all. So that`s just the first caveat here today.
What we have going on right -- right now with this hour, we have a celebration of life service. It`s going on at First Baptist Church at Temple Terrace, a small incorporated area here in Tampa, Florida. It started at 6 p.m. It is for these two teenagers, 16-year-old Calyx and 13- year-old Beau Schenecker, who were killed by their mother. It`s closed to the public. It is only open to students and teachers at the two schools, the high school, the middle school where these kids attended, where they can get up and tell stories.
And as I understand, Colonel Schenecker himself is at this church tonight...
SUMMERS: ... and will get up at some point to -- to talk.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He flew in -- thank you so much, Steve -- from the Mideast, where he was serving our country. Can you imagine what this man is going through, knowing these two precious kids, his kids. Thirteen- year-old Beau -- look at that nice, nice kid -- was active in soccer. And 16-year-old Calyx, she was part of an international baccalaureate program. Wonderful kids. These were not troublemakers by any means. They were gunned down, cops say, by their own mother.
The chilling search warrant reveals other evidence cops found and seized from Julie Schenecker`s home. In the master bedroom they found five bullets and the manual for a Smith & Wesson firearm. And perhaps most important, they found some kind of medication. Let`s hold onto that thought for a second.
In the master bath, they found 15 live bullets, five spent shell casings, and again, some kind of medication. They didn`t specify what kind.
Here`s my big issue. What is this mystery medication, and could it have anything to do with the fact that -- look at the way she`s shaking. Look at the way she is shaking there. What is that? Is that withdrawal from medication? Was Julie Schenecker doped up when she allegedly shot her kids in the head, executing them?
You know, cops say she was unconscious, just lying by the pool when they found her. And when you look at her trembling in this way, we`re slow-mo`ing this now so you can really see it. There it is in real time. You`ve got to wonder about that, you`ve got to wonder, Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist, if that is somebody having withdrawals, because she was apparently behind bars a couple of days.
And then there was that careless driving incident back in November. Cops say at that time she appeared impaired. She was slurring her words, and her eyes were dilated, but they never tested her for drugs.
Robi, do you think she was on -- abusing prescription pills?
ROBI LUDWIG, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: I mean, that`s certainly one possibility. There are certain medications that cause that kind of muscular distortion that it seems she has.
We also would need to do a full neurological, an MRI, psychological examination. I mean, we would want to rule out some kind of medical condition that perhaps could cause this kind of violent personality change.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: What kind of medical condition could ever cause a mother to kill...
LUDWIG: If she has a tumor, a brain tumor, a brain tumor absolutely could cause something like this.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Really? OK.
MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, they better get a CAT scan if they`re going to claim that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, exactly.
BROOKS: That`s for sure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks...
LUDWIG: I`m not saying that`s what happened.
LUDWIG: But you have to rule it out. You have to look.
BROOKS: Exactly. So just give her a CAT scan.
BROOKS: Rule it out.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, do you think they did a drug test on her when they arrested her? Remember, she`s supposedly asleep, unconscious at the pool. Who -- who kills their two precious children and then takes a nap by the pool?
BROOKS: You know, normally, you don`t take a blood test. They would most likely have to get a search warrant if they wanted to take a blood test, if they were going to use that as evidence against her.
Jane, one of the things I`m curious about, when she was stopped during this traffic incident, you know, when you`re given a field sobriety test, when you do the -- when you see the officer or the deputy...
BROOKS: ... that will show some bounce in the eye, and it`s not just for alcohol. It can show the presence of other kinds of drugs, both prescription and some over the counter. Was that given to her? Apparently not.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If we go back to that, that`s her mug shot. Let`s go back to that tight shot of her, her face. To me, it looks like her eyes are very red. Now, maybe she`s crying, but those red eyes, they could also be from when you use something too much.
Anita, Alabama, your question or thought, ma`am.
CALLER: Hi, Jane. How are you?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fine, thank you.
CALLER: I just want to say, I`m the mother of three boys, two of which just passed the teenage years, and it`s hard. Teenagers are, you know, exerting their independence, and they don`t want to confide -- confide in you.
But I found that when my kids were driving me crazy when they were teenagers, the best thing for me to do was to just walk away and cool off for a while. And then you...
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, only -- if only she had done that. If only she had hailed a cab and just took off, never to be seen again, anything except this outcome.
What do we know, Steve Summers, about the back story here with the fights between the teenage daughter Calyx and her mom that were escalating?
SUMMERS: Well, it apparently had begun going on for some time, because as we spoke about before, the police, Tampa police had actually been to the Schenecker residence in an upscale neighborhood, beautiful neighborhood where you`d never think anything like this would happen.
About two or three months before the actual killings, Calyx confided in her high-school guidance counselor -- to her high-school guidance counselor that her mother had gotten violent with her, had slapped her many times, had hurt her, and she really didn`t think anything would come of it.
But the counselor actually called police, and police went to the Schenecker residence. But they did not make an arrest, because it was basically the girl`s word against the mother`s word. There were no injuries on Calyx at this time.
So we know this has been going on for a while, at least in the sense of months. Has it been going on for the entire deployment of Colonel Schenecker? We don`t know that.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, Ed, just to your point, according to the police, parents can discipline their children using physical force as long as there is no injury. And I want to ask everybody in the panel, should that be reconsidered, given what we`re learning about the back story in this case, that she admitted hitting her daughter, but because there was no physical injury, nothing came of it. There were no arrests, no nothing. And then a couple of months later, she according to cops, executes her kids at point- blank range with a gun in the back of the head to the 16-year-old girl, the other -- the boy shooting on the way to soccer practice.
All right, hang in there. Here is what we`re doing. We are taking your calls on a whole bunch of stories tonight: 1-877-JVM-SAYS. And one of them, Halle Berry`s custody battle with her ex-, Gabriel Aubry. It`s getting ugly, ugly, even though two Beautiful people involved here. Allegations of verbal abuse are hurled.
Also, convicted rapist inmate accused of strangling a female guard in the prison chapel. Did she fear this exact thing would happen?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It leaves you speechless, because she does -- she was a sweetheart. I don`t know what to say. What you told me, it just blew my mind. I don`t know why anybody would want to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. CHRISTIE GREGOIRE, WASHINGTON: This was a murder, and a murder investigation is under way through the Monroe Police Department. The person responsible for this crime will face justice in our state.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, what on earth is going on? Two more police officers dead. That`s 18 officers just this year alone. That`s right, 2011.
The two latest, both prison guards. One of them, a female guard, brutally murdered behind bars, strangled with a microphone cord. Cops suspect a convicted repeat rapist who is in prison for life already.
Cops say 34-year-old prison guard Jayme Biendl was ambushed in, of all places, the prison chapel. Evidence shows she may have died while trying to stop her own rape.
Now, take a look at this suspect. There he is, Byron Scherf. OK, this guy is already serving life in prison for raping at least three women. It gets worse. One of them he doused with gasoline and set on fire.
And guess what? Up until the death of Officer Biendl, this Scherf fellow was in medium security for good behavior.
Investigators say Scherf hid under a table in the chapel and then waited to get Officer Biendl alone. Officer Biendl`s co-workers are stunned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER SHANE ZEY, MONROE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: It`s been a rough day. My daughter asking questions of, you know, "Daddy, could this happen to you." We want to come to work, do our job, be professionals, and we want to go home to our family. That`s not too much to ask.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Union reps say Officer Biendl said she felt uneasy guarding the prison chapel all alone. Why was this woman, an attractive young woman, guarding a prison chapel alone when there are male prisoners there who apparently can lurk under tables? Did her requests for backup and more security go unanswered? And why are the people who are risking their own lives to keep us safe being killed at such an alarming rate? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.
Straight out to investigative reporter Michelle Sigona.
Michelle, what is the very latest?
MICHELLE SIGONA, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER: Well, at this point, a memorial service has been planned for Jayme. And that will take place next week, Jane. But I can also confirm that the department -- through the Department of Corrections, I spoke with two representatives there, Belinda Stewart and John Lewis. And they both say -- well, John told me specifically that Jayme did, in fact, report to the superintendent just a few days before she was murdered that she did feel unsafe, that her safety -- you know, she felt like her safety was going to be compromised.
But at this point, Belinda and also -- and John both say that they cannot find any official paperwork. But it`s something that they`re working on right now.
I did also reach out to the police union representative. I spoke with one person in the office who referred me to someone else, but I have not heard back from her as of yet.
Also, I can confirm right now, here on your show, that last year in the later part, August and September specifically, two other female officers were assaulted inside of the prison.
SIGONA: One was sexually assaulted, and another one was attacked and strangled last September. Those are two other female officers.
I can also tell you that there are 800 officers altogether that work behind these walls, very hard-working officers. This institution has been around for about 100 years, and through -- of the entire state, the last death, the last prison officer death was 30 years ago. And there`s about 2,400 inmates that sit behind those walls right there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Now, prison guards noticed the suspect, Byron Scherf, missing from his cell during a head count. They actually found him in the chapel, and here is what he told them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SECRETARY ELDON VAIL, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS: The inmate said to us, "I was thinking about escaping." That`s a pretty important part of our work. So the officers cuffed him up and got him off to segregation. That was their priority. They thought that they had just prevented an escape. They didn`t go farther into the chapel.
Then at the shift change, when Officer Biendl did not turn in her radio and her keys, it was noticed. And then folks responded to the chapel and found her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, what is going wrong here?
BROOKS: Jane, if you go to any correctional facility here in the United States, you`re going to find the correctional officers are so outnumbered. They`re so outnumbered by the -- by the inmates. It`s -- it`s not a safe working environment at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: More in a moment. Hang on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GREGOIRE: Today is a day in which we honor the sacrifice of this young woman and her dedication to her job. As I talked to the superintendent, both yesterday and today, he has said to me, she loved her work; she loved her job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight. A female prison guard strangled to death inside a prison chapel, allegedly by one of her prison volunteers, a man serving life in prison for three rapes, one of them extraordinarily violent.
And we`re just now learning and notified that another prison guard has been murdered. We`re talking 18 dead officers this year now. The prison guard we`re talking about who was murdered today is Colonel Greg Malloy. Oh, my God, killed in a gunfight with a suspect wanted for double murder. Malloy was working in the field at the time.
Eighteen officers dead since February 2. And you were looking at some photos of some of them.
What the heck is going on, Mike Brooks?
BROOKS: Jane, so far this year 18, as you said, line-of-duty deaths in the United States. And 11 -- 11 -- of them by gunfire.
If you go back to 2010, there were 163 line-of-duty deaths, and 59 -- 59 of those, Jane, by gunfire. Look, we just saw the -- those officers in Detroit. Four of them were killed -- I mean, were shot. None of them were killed, fortunately.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank God.
BROOKS: But that weekend there were 11 officers shot in a 24-hour period.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Officer Biendl had reportedly expressed concern about guarding this chapel all alone. Let`s listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A beautiful young woman has been murdered, and it shouldn`t have happened.
We`ve been complaining to the department about the safety of our members who work inside these prisons. With all the budget cuts and the staff reductions, it`s, you know, it`s dangerous. It`s always dangerous work, but this is exactly the kind of thing that we were fearful would happen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Sigona, didn`t she want cameras to come in there? I mean, this chapel closes at 8:30, but she wasn`t reported missing until she failed to turn in her equipment at the end of her shift. So there was this gap. And why is she exposed to these -- these volunteer prisoners?
SIGONA: Well, there was a gap. And apparently, the suspect, the alleged suspect, he had been on good behavior. That`s why he was moved to that area and had a little bit more freedom over the last ten years.
And also, in addition, just to kind of break down the timeline a little bit, she -- he went missing at 9 p.m. By 9:14, the prison was on lockdown. That`s when they located the suspect. They were able to bring him in, and the prison ever since that point has been on lockdown.
Her body was then found at 10:28 p.m., when she didn`t turn in her radio, she didn`t turn in her handcuffs. They went in and started searching. That`s when her body was found. EMS was called in, tried to resuscitate her, couldn`t. And then the local sheriff`s department was brought in, and that`s when they pronounced her dead and brought her out.
She did, in fact, have a conversation with the superintendent just days before she died. I can confirm that, on the record, that she did feel unsafe. But the paperwork, the official paperwork that said that she wants the surveillance cameras or that she wanted the surveillance cameras had not been found yet.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Surveillance cameras in every prison hallway, everywhere, it`s an easy solution that will save lives.
BROOKS: Should have been there.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You`re right, absolutely, Mike Brooks.
"NANCY GRACE" now airing from 8 to 10 p.m. Eastern Monday through Sunday. It`s the second hour, "Nancy Grace: Missing in America." Nancy trying to find 50 people in 50 days.
Coming up, you won`t believe what we`ve got on Charlie Sheen.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have got the stunning 911 call after Charlie Sheen`s three-day bender that sent him to the hospital. Has it gotten so bad that the 45-year-old actor`s parents might step in to take control of his affairs? I`ll talk to Charlie`s friend and doctor who made the initial 911 call and drove Charlie home from the hospital.
Plus, Halle Berry`s custody battle gets ugly. The Oscar winning actress has backed out of her upcoming film to fight for custody of her 2 1/2-year-old daughter with model Gabriel Aubry. Now a vicious war of words has exploded with allegations of verbal abuse.
We`ll take your calls.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DR. NASSIF, CHARLIE SHEEN`S DOCTOR: Hi, my name is Dr. Nassif. I live in Beverly Park, in Beverly Hills.
911 OPERATOR: Yes, sir.
NASSIF: I got a call from the residence of Charlie Sheen, from his secretary. Apparently what she`s saying is he is intoxicated and he`s saying don`t call 911. They got him on the phone, and he was very, very intoxicated also apparently in a lot of pain. Kind of weird, the phone call I received.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, the 911 call that sent Charlie Sheen to the hospital, strapped to a stretcher. Hollywood`s a very small world, after a night of wild partying with porn stars, Charlie`s secretary called a famous Beverly Hills plastic surgeon saying the bad boy actor was seriously intoxicated and in extreme pain.
Charlie said, "Listen, don`t involve the cops." But Dr. Paul Nassif was so concerned he dialed 911, as he should have.
I`ll talk with him in just a moment. He`s a good friend of Charlie`s as well as a neighbor.
Plus, is Charlie`s family planning an intervention? TMZ now reporting this photo was taken right before Charlie`s alleged all-night bender. Take a look at him. There he is with his arms wide open like that and well, you can judge for yourself.
Now, reports are surfacing saying Charlie`s father, Martin Sheen, wants to step in and take control of Charlie`s finances. We`ll get to that in a second.
First, you may know him from Bravo`s hit show "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills". He is married to one of the stars, Adrienne Maloof (ph). He also hosted Charlie`s wedding to ex-wife Brooke Mueller at his Beverly Hills mansion. And he is the gentleman who made the 911 call you just heard, as well as driving Charlie home from the hospital.
Dr. Paul Nassif joins us tonight. Thank you so much for being here with us tonight.
NASSIF: Thank you, Jane, for having me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It is good to have you.
Listen, I`m a recovering alcoholic, ok. I have almost 16 years of sobriety, hopefully in April I`ll get there. I understand what it is like to be friends with somebody who`s an alcoholic because I had friends who would kind of cover for me. I was a blackout drinker and people would say, oh, she`s just having a good time. And I know how it is.
Does being friends with Charlie pose a lot of challenges for you, trying to be a good person, being a doctor and being a neighbor? I mean, is it tough?
NASSIF: Absolutely not. As a matter of fact, when you say, you know, you have friends that are alcoholics and, first of all, congratulations to you for being sober that many years --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you.
NASSIF: I have to tell you of all my time with Charlie, I never hide anything because I`ve never seen him drink. We do things with our kids, our wives, we go out. This is not a part of his life that I`m used to seeing, that I have seen.
As a matter of fact, on the upcoming segment I just heard a few seconds ago, it said something about he didn`t want me to call the police or something, none of that is true. That wasn`t mentioned.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Say that again?
NASSIF: When you were talking a few minutes ago mentioning about he did not want me to call the police or the cops --
NASSIF: That`s not true at all.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Well, let me ask you about this. Let`s get it out of the way. There is a little bit of a contradiction here and we like to get your take on it, clear the air.
NASSIF: Sure, sure.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You had told "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT", Brooke Anderson, exclusive interview that he didn`t sound inebriated on the phone when he called right before you called 911, and the 911 call we just heard says that you`re telling the operator, your voice telling the 911 operator he sounds very, very inebriated.
I totally get it, doctor, because I know what it is like to be friends with an addict. It is difficult. But can you explain the discrepancy there?
NASSIF: Yes, I mean, that`s pretty easy for me to say. Number one, you know, it is very, very early in the morning. I`m getting a phone call and you know, the -- I`m talking to a paramedic, so as a doctor, talking to a paramedic, even though I`m not Charlie`s doctor, I`m his friend, I`m telling him what I heard. At that point I did talk to Charlie for a few seconds, he was in a lot of pain, he did not sound that great, so he might have been intoxicated.
So, but the bottom line is, I`m talking to the paramedics, I`m explaining what I`ve heard, you know, the abdominal pain, possible chest pain, and he sounded very intoxicated. And, again, that`s me talking to them as a physician.
But at the same point, you know, Charlie is my friend. And so I`m going to protect him. I don`t have to go out and just keep talking about those things. So, you know, I`m not 100 percent sure. I`m trying to forget about it and move on.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. I just wanted to ask you. That`s a good explanation.
Today on the view, Whoopi Goldberg explained why she thinks Charlie Sheen is a functioning addict. But she also revealed some very, very personal secrets. Listen to this from ABC`s "The View". It`s fascinating.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ABC CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": I was a functioning drug addict. I went to work because I knew if I didn`t show up, a lot of people would be out of work and I wouldn`t get a check and would not have the lifestyle that I needed to buy my drugs.
I wet the bed. I pooped the bed. I did all kinds of stuff. My roommate came back and said what is going on. I said there is something under the bed. When I tell you that the bathroom was probably to where you are, Sherri, I was so scared and that`s when I knew.
But, you know, you have to get to that place. Not only did I hit bottom, but it was, like, is that me?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dr. Nassif, you said you have never seen Charlie drink. But I got to tell you, he went into rehab the first time 21 years ago, almost OD`d in 1998. He`s been to rehab at least three times as recently as last year. He was taken to the hospital from the Plaza Hotel three months ago.
He pleaded guilty to simple assault on his wife Brooke who he married at your home. And he just went on a three-day bender according to all these published reports.
Is it possible you have never really seen him drink, not even when he got married to Brooke at your home? I`m just trying to get my head around that because I find it astounding, actually.
NASSIF: I know you find it hard to believe that I`m saying that. But I have to tell you, when I met Charlie, that was right before they got married, he was not drinking. When he got married at my house, he was not drinking. For the numerous times that all of us went out together, he was not drinking.
Now, there are times in our friendship that I didn`t see him for a while. Maybe those are times that he faltered, whether it is during the time of the Aspen trip or this recent time, I`ve talked to him on the phone numerous times. It is not like we go out every week or every other week. But every time I can say with 100 percent certainty I have not seen him drink. That`s me. Maybe with other people, fine, but not with me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you this, everybody, even his own dad, says he has a problem. His father is trying to get a conservatorship over him so he can take his finances away from him because he apparently feels Charlie is spending tens of thousands of dollars on porn stars, et cetera.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: You were driving home with him from the hospital, after this big, big incident. Does Charlie Sheen want to get sober, do you think?
NASSIF: You know, we had a very long conversation on the way home and at his house which, you know, most of that, of course, I`m not going to discuss because that`s between two friends, but obviously like anybody, of course he wants to get better. Obviously --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I can`t say of course, doctor, with due respect because there are been a lot of reports he`s holed up in his house and RadarOnline is saying they got a text from him saying, can`t a guy just have a good time, after this incident, after he went to the hospital.
So what was your -- what can you tell me about your conversation on the ride home from the hospital? You`re driving, he`s sitting there, the entire world is hearing about this out of control three-day bender, porn stars are going on the air talking about how he was chug lugging vodka and all sorts of other things involving drugs, let`s face it, what -- you were talking about the upcoming Super Bowl?
NASSIF: No. You know, as a matter of fact, I know TMZ kind of made a little poke of that type of thing, I have to say it was light, but more importantly the first part of it, everything the first maybe three-quarters was very serious. We talked about some medical stuff. And again, that`s some of the personal stuff which I`m not going to discuss. The medical stuff which has nothing to do with his drinking or any other type of drugs that he might have been doing.
And I have to tell you, since this is not a Charlie that I know, you know, we didn`t heavily get into what happened the night before, you know, what is going on. I did talk about, you know, what could happen to him if his life continues this way, from a medical standpoint. And I can say that, obviously like any friend would say.
But you know, we talked about a lot of things. Those are some of the basic things.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you a question. I know real friends, ok, when I was in my problem, real friends were the ones who confronted me. My fair weather friends told me you`re a party animal. Do you feel that given that anything you could say is not going to be as embarrassing as what we`ve already discussed, can you tell me at least, did you confront him about his problem? That`s a yes or no.
NASSIF: I don`t feel like discussing that, Jane. I`m sorry. I just don`t want to.
NASSIF: It`s just something that just -- I mean, I can say this to you, obviously if -- let me maybe reiterate that or change that to a point. Obviously this is uncomfortable for me.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course.
NASSIF: And, you know, when somebody has a problem, as a friend, a good friend, which I feel Charlie is my good friend, he`s done a lot of things for my wife and I, and, you know, obviously I`m going to talk to him about his problem, just like anyone would. And I`m going to discuss certain things with him. Obviously I won`t go into that aspect.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did he seem resistant? That`s a yes or no.
NASSIF: No. He was listening with his ears wide open. Maybe the hospital problem that occurred might have put a little scare into him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I certainly hope so. Dr. Nassif, thank you so much for coming on and being very frank with us. And I hope your buddy gets the help he needs. Thank you.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Halle Berry`s custody battle gets nasty. That in a minute.
First, judicial outrage: a former juvenile justice worker convicted of molesting two underage girls he was supervising in a courthouse, sentenced to just four years in prison. That`s I think two years per girl.
Tony Simmons, senior on wcbs.com originally had a probation only plea deal in place -- probation only. After those protests by women`s advocates the judge canned that idea saying he showed a disturbing lack of remorse. This guy was assigned to look after these young girls but instead he used his position to prey on vulnerable girls.
Two million people are warehoused in U.S. prisons; non-violent drug offenders serving 20 years behind bars, and this guy gets four years? Is that the kind of justice that we`re looking for? He should be in the slammer for a long time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE ANDERSON, HLN HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Well, Gabriel is not taking this lying down. He just told "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" that Halle is falsely maligning him; her allegations are untrue and irresponsible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. What a gorgeous couple. Too bad they hate each other now. Ding, ding, ding.
Tonight round one of the latest celebrity custody war: two of the world`s most gorgeous exes getting downright ugly, shocking new reports claim this model, Gabriel Aubry, easy on the eyes, was verbally abusive, hurling racial slurs at superstar actress Halle Berry.
Now, she`s accusing him of being a bad dad to their 2-year-old daughter Nahla. Halle even quit a major movie to make time for this ugly custody war. Her publicist gave us this statement.
"Halle Berry was forced to pull out of a film production in New York this week due to pending custody litigation involving her daughter. Halle has serious concerns for her daughter`s well-being while in the care of her father for any extended period of time, and is prepared to take all necessary steps to protect her." Ok. That`s where the quote ends.
Gabriel`s camp says all Halle`s accusations against him are lies and that she`s just trying to make him look bad to better her chances in court. So who is telling the truth here? And what will a judge decide about this precious child`s future?
Straight out to Dylan Howard, senior executive editor from RadarOnline; Dylan you`ve been all over this story. What is the very latest?
DYLAN HOWARD, SENIOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RADARONLINE: Well, Jane, in Hollywood, it is no stranger to bitter custody battles. This threatens to take it to an all-time low.
This couple has rarely been in court, but already they`re trading very public barbs. The latest being that Gabriel Aubry made disparaging remark about Halle Berry using the N word. His camp firing back telling RadarOnline that they have hours of recordings in which Halle Berry is heard making demeaning comments to her baby daddy. This is a very sordid tale.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: It really is. And you look at these two and they look like they should have the world at their feet. They are stunning. They are talented. They are successful. Look at them. My gosh.
It doesn`t get any better than that on the visual end. And yet, they are miserable and locked in a very vicious battle. And boy, that just is sad. It`s a sad commentary on humanity, I guess.
Gabriel filed lawsuits in both the United States and Canada where he`s from, requesting joint custody and asking his name be added to Nahla`s birth certificate. He`s also reportedly willing to reveal some damning text messages and voice mails from Halle that he claims he has that could, he says, make her look bad.
Now considering moms typically have the upper hand in custody disputes, Jennifer Brandt, family law attorney, how is this going to play out and are we going to hear even more dirty laundry before this is decided?
JENNIFER BRANDT, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Oh, we`re going to hear a lot of dirty laundry. That`s for sure, Jane. But the way it`s going to play out is that Halle just really needs to learn how to share. She made a baby with this guy and now she`s got to share her with him.
He`s just not going to go away, clearly. He wants to have time with his child and, today in most courts, he`s going to get that time. So she better get used to communicating with him and just she better relax. I don`t think she wants to hear from him. I think that`s the problem. It happens every day in so many cases.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now she is saying she has serious concerns for her daughter`s well-being in the care of her dad. But is she getting specific? I mean that`s a pretty heavy duty thing to throw on someone.
BRANDT: Right. And that`s the thing. We haven`t heard any specifics. Is he abusive? What is he doing to this child? These are the things that we need to know about to know if it`s really a concern.
Right now she`s just spouting out a lot of things in the press. But she`s really not saying what he`s done to the child. Because he may have made some slurs against her, as horrible as they may be, it really has nothing to do with the baby. As long as he`s not saying it in front of the child or trying to turn the child away from mom, then he`s going to have time with this child and she`s going to have to get used to it. That`s the problem here. It happens all the time in many cases.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And once again, he is saying that it`s a lie. They are both accusing each other of lying essentially. And they are both invited or their representatives on the show any time to tell their story. I want to be fair here.
Here`s my big issue. Ruined relationships, it`s nothing new in Hollywood, let`s face it. Halle Berry has a particular knack for picking we`ll say men who are wrong for her. Her second husband Eric Benet was admitted to being a philandering sex addict. And she claims her first husband, baseball star, David Justice was physically abusive. He has always denied that and he was never prosecuted for that.
Here`s what she said about their bitter split. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HALLE BERRY, ACTRESS: The heartbreak of that was devastating to me because I was a woman who grew up with that fantasy that was, you know, pushed down my throat since I was knee high to a bullfrog. You have to find your prince and he will take care of you and that will be happiness. So when that prince decided to go away, my sense of self and my self-worth was totally connected to him. So when he left, I felt like nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side, we are going to talk to Mark Vincent Kaplan, family law attorney about this trend involving Halle Berry. Does she just have a case of bad luck or is there something else going on? Hold on.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BERRY: Well, you know, every mom in the world will tell you it`s life changing. It`s profound. It`s given me a greater purpose. I`m like every other mom in the world I think. She`s the love of my life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: The love of her life now at the center of a very vicious custody war. Will Hollywood sweetheart Halle Berry be allowed to keep her daughter away from her ex, Gabriel Aubry? This is a rough one.
Mark Vincent Kaplan, how does something like this turn so public so quickly and with such vicious accusations?
MARK VINCENT KAPLAN, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Well, I think that it`s a really terrible strategy to go to court to say I can prove that the other person is more terrible for this child than I am. They`ve got to stop that right now.
All of the energy that`s being put into these allegations in the media and the like if she`s on location, then the father should be able to go to location, visit with the child. The child is not going to be on the set. And somebody is not making a long-term rational judgment here about ramping up the ability for dad to get involved in that child`s life.
Sure, she`s an actress. That brings with it certain demands. But those can all be met. It is not complicated. It`s troubling, however, if in order as a last ditch attempt to defeat the ability for either parent to see the child, someone starts making very ambiguous, opaque references about how terrible someone is. Well if they really had information about how terrible someone is or that the child was in danger in that parent`s custody, they would have been in court getting specific orders already.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes. Ok. Once again, we`re talking about the fact that Halle Berry said she had serious concerns for her daughter`s well-being and the daughter is two, turning three in the care of her dad. What you are saying, Mark, which is really a good point is that if she did have real specific allegations of something bad, she would have gone to court already to get like a restraining order or something like that. Is that what you are saying?
KAPLAN: Absolutely. If she had such information and she didn`t go to court, that reflects badly on her -- on her ability to be able to watch out for and take care of the safety of her child. But I just think that this is starting to have its own momentum and it can be something that has to be gripped on to right now. Stop it and instead of putting all of the energy into proving, well, I know that the other person was just as bad as I am, go to -- like go beyond it. It`s not a question of what`s fair. It doesn`t matter whether --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dylan, let me ask you this because it relates to what Mark is saying. Is there a back story here about Gabriel, gorgeous Gabriel dating some other woman and possible jealousy by Halle? This is something I`ve heard.
HOWARD: There is, Jane. Believe it or not, it can only be in Hollywood. But at the center of this is the suggestion that Halle Berry was jealous when Gabriel started being seen, being photographed alongside Kim Kardashian. Can you believe it? Another reality television angle thrown into this story.
Of course, that`s what his side is alleging. And at this stage, there`s no confirmation of that, at least from Halle`s perspective. Expect this to go to court and to be rushed through to the court sooner rather than later. Both sides want to get some sort of resolution to this matter and don`t be surprised --
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wait a second -- Dylan, isn`t she dating some gorgeous guy, Olivier Martinez?
HOWARD: She`s said to be dating him, although she`s been very mum on that.
Expect it to be in court and expect it to be rushed through and expect a gag order given that there`s those e-mails and voice recordings.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Nancy Grace starts now.